UAE’s #PostWisely campaign shows dangers of sharing tragedies online

The second phase of du’s campaign to raise awareness around conscientious social media usage was unveiled this week, under its theme, “If it were your pain, would you share it?” 

The campaign comprises of four videos that address the negative impact of posting people’s misfortunes online and question the motives of the people behind the camera lens. The videos illustrate and highlight the harmful and unethical nature of sharing pictures and videos of negative situations such as accidents, bullying, pranks, and other ill-fated incidents on social media that have become increasingly prevalent recently.

“We are in an era where our digital and real lives are not so clearly demarcated. While a lot prominence is given to having a digital footprint and engaging with audiences online, it is also pertinent that we maintain a moral compass in practicing discretion,” said Osman Sultan, Chief Executive Officer at Emirates Integrated Telecommunication Company, EITC.

“Whilst the Ipsos Research we commissioned reveals a perceived increase – 57 percent – in negative posts during the past year, it also reveals a request for guidance from decent corporate citizens, particularly the telco and digital sectors. At du, we believe we have a role to play in championing altruistic initiatives that have a bearing on our society and communities; as a key enabler of connectivity, creating discourse and awareness of such issues is not only relevant but essential.”

“The survey revealed some troubling habits of social media users in the UAE, and we hope that by creating a campaign from our findings, we can provide a platform for purposeful conversations around ethical online behaviour. What was worrying is that as many as 45 percent of the participants that have experienced any negative situation that affected them as a person during the past 12 months said that someone posted about their negative situation online, and this was a statistic that we could not ignore,” Abdulwahed Juma, Executive Vice President of Brand and Corporate Communications, du, added.

When asked what they would do if they witness to negative situations such as bullying or accidents in real life, more than half of the survey respondents said they would contact the authorities and 45 percent said they would offer to help; meanwhile, when respondents see posts of these types of events online, only 16 percent said they report or flag the post. Similarly, while more than a third, 35 percent, of respondents said they would ignore these events happening in real life, nearly twice as many, 42 percent, said they actively watch them happen online rather than ignoring – and 16 percent go a step further by sharing these posts after viewing them.

du’s #PostWisely campaign is providing a platform for dialogue to take place to encourage ethical online behaviour through its social media channels.

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